Restaurant Holiday Guide: 5 ways to promote New Year’s offerings online

You’ve set up the perfect recipe for a successful New Year, but how do you make sure enough people favor your restaurant over others when ordering online? After all, every business will be armed with their own unique offerings and vying for patronage.

With some timely planning, creative campaigns and using the right mix of online marketing channels, you can help get the word out and make the celebration a smashing success.

Here are some key tips to help you get started with your online promotions.

Create the hype through user-generated content

Any content related to your brand created by its users, including photos, videos, reviews, blog posts, Tweets, etc, are considered User-generated content or UGC. Such type of content is increasingly valued by brands and customers alike for their authenticity.

85% of people have said that they post about a positive restaurant dining experience at least once in a week. On the other hand, experience seekers and food enthusiasts are paying close attention to what your fans and loyal customers are saying about you.

So on the run-up to New Year, makes sure to leverage on your UGCs to create more hype for your restaurant. Now the question is how to do it?

One way is to participate in food fests happening around the city. If you are able to impress the people visiting your stall and tasting your food, ask them to post a picture of your food on their Instagram handle and tag your business. In return, you can give them a discount voucher that they or their friends can use to order food from your website. Repost all the feeds that you are tagged in to make it a viral campaign.

Give social media top priority

Social media has become one of the most preferred and most effective channels for restaurant marketing and this has been validated by the 2017 TripAdvisor Restaurant Marketing Study.

More and more customers, especially Millennials and Gen Z, are relying on social media to make decisions about a restaurant. So it goes without saying that to promote your New Year offerings, social media must be your top priority.

Whether it’s through contests, giveaways, memorable in-house content like spotlighting how your employees are gearing up for the New Year event, there are loads of engaging ways to use the platform.

Send personalized emails

A simple but effective way to let your guests know what’s brewing at your restaurant for New Year is through email marketing. Various studies have shown that email marketing can drive more conversions as compared to other online marketing channels, including social media. Read here how Email Marketing is becoming the future of online marketing for restaurants.

Whatever you do, just don’t make it look like an outright promotion. Create a personalized campaign so that the customers see it as a special personal invite, especially if you are sending it to your loyal customers or reward program subscribers.

You can create email-only deals to ensure more people engage with your campaign. Make them feel special so they feel connected to the brand at every step. Also remember that amounts half of all emails are opened on a mobile device so you have to make sure that your New Year mailer is optimized for mobile devices, both phones, and tablets.

Create customized content

Content is the king, will always be! That’s how you connect and communicate with your customers, isn’t it?

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

In short, content marketing is all about storytelling and New Year is a great time to tell memorable stories.

For instance: New Year Resolution is a very popular theme during the last few weeks of December. People gear up to open a new chapter of their lives. Creating tailored content to appreciate your customers for all the hard work they are putting into to make their lives better would be a good way to start with your New Year’s content marketing strategy.

Let’s say, if fitness is on their minds (which is mostly the case when it comes to food lovers), introduce healthy drinks as a part of your resolution. Add these as complementary to all orders above $50, perhaps two complimentary drinks for orders above $100 and so on.

Drive Organic Online Search

A customer is making his New Year plans and wondering which restaurant to pick. What is the most likely action he will take? Take out his phone and make a quick search on Google, of course.

According to Think with Google, “people are at least twice as likely to use search than other online or offline sources. Not only is search the most used resource, but it’s also the resource 87% of people turn to first.”

In fact, a 2018 survey shows that 64% of marketers now see Google as the new “homepage” for local businesses!

So around New Year’s time, you have to amp up your SEO game to stay ahead of the competition. One way is to ensure that you post a lot of content around it, both on the website, as well as on third party content platforms. Make your business searchable. If creating content is not an option right now, then running Google Ad campaigns with the right targeting will help you reach the right audience. Be sure to test multiple audiences so you can pinpoint which target groups are most likely to order from your restaurant.

Plan now, launch early

The most successful digital marketing campaigns for new year's promotions starting at least a month in advance. Planning ahead is important to generate organic traffic to the website. It also gives a lot of time to track the data that you can utilize to amp up the sales on important dates of the month.

What kind of promotions are you planning to celebrate the beginning of 2020? Tell us what’s worked for you in the past in the comment section below.